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Desktop computer shuts down randomly

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  • Components
  • Desktops
  • Power
  • Computers
Last response: in Components
July 1, 2014 5:36:10 AM

Since today my computer started shutting down randomly. It's as if someone pulls out the power cord—it goes out in an instant. It started while I was playing. I noticed that everything started to stutter ever so slightly, but I didn't mind it, and then the computer shut off. When I fired it up again, I got a screen saying that it didn't shut down properly and gave me some options, including booting Windows 7 normally. When I chose that, it proceeded, but instead of doing so like it uses to—i.e. the entire screen disappearing in an instant—the screen disappeared a little at a time, from top to bottom. It couldn't even get to the user selection screen before shutting off again.

When I tried booting it up later, I got to choose from other options, the recommended option being to use the startup tool. I did that, and it ended up restoring the system to an earlier point in time. I went about my business again, and after a little wihile it shut off again.

I have had my computer since the mid of June 2010, and the only component I have replaced during that time is the GPU, which I replaced early last year. Apart from that, the computer was assembled by the company I ordered it from.


Additional info
OS: Windows Home Premium 7 Nordic 64 bit

PSU: Corsair VX 550W
Mobo: MSI M55M-E33
CPU: Intel Core i5-750
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 Windforce
Memory: Kingston ValueR, DDR3, 1333 MHz, 4 GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16, 500 GB
Cabinet: Cooler Master Elite 310, Black/Orange

Keyboard: Logitech UltraX Premium Keyboard, USB
Mouse: Logitech MX518 Optical Mouse, USB


Let me know if more information is needed.

More about : desktop computer shuts randomly

July 1, 2014 5:43:29 AM

The first thing to try is plugging in the computer directly to the wall power outlet (not through a power strip).

If this does not solve the issue try a different power supply; the existing PSU is 4 years old and may be showing signs of failure.
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July 1, 2014 5:44:18 AM

I'd check the temperatures on CPU and GPU. What cooler are you using on CPU?
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July 1, 2014 6:02:08 AM

First thought is your cpu is overheating causing the computer to shutdown to avoid damage. Use HWMonitor or Speedfan to check your temps while you game. You can also set it up to log to a file so the next time it crashes you can check the temps at that time.
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July 1, 2014 6:07:13 AM

Ubrales said:
The first thing to try is plugging in the computer directly to the wall power outlet (not through a power strip).

I'm doing this now, and it hasn't shut off as of yet. But why could this potentially be the cause?

herrwizo said:
I'd check the temperatures on CPU and GPU. What cooler are you using on CPU?

While idling the GPU and CPU temperatures are 24-25 ºC and around 50 ºC respectively. I haven't had my eye on the CPU temperature much, but right now it's around 50 ºC. It does jump up and down quite a bit at the moment, though. Not sure if it's done that earlier. And while typing this it jumped up to around 95 ºC, stayed there for a little while, then went down again to 50-ish. Temperatures checked using MSI Afterburner.

I use the coolers the company put in when I ordered the computer. I remember seeing some thermal paste on and a fan.
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Best solution

July 1, 2014 6:10:44 AM

Too hot CPU. This is your problem. Clean the cooler or get a new one, like Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.
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July 1, 2014 6:35:46 AM

herrwizo said:
Too hot CPU. This is your problem. Clean the cooler or get a new one, like Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.


Yes I agree. Unplug the computer and drain the power then take off the cpu cooler to check the state of the thermal paste. You may only need to replace the thermal paste but the 212 evo by cooler master works great and is only 30 bucks (comes with paste).

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July 1, 2014 6:52:19 AM

Alright. How long do thermal pastes usually last? And how do I see whether or not it is in a good state?

Also, what is normal CPU temperature? What should it be staying at during idle and load?
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July 1, 2014 6:58:15 AM

A few years I'd say. It will look dry and cracked and maybe not evenly spread any more.

Depends on your cooler but I think mine idles around 25-35 Celsius. Load would bring it up around 50 I think depending on the game.
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July 1, 2014 6:58:31 AM

Artenuis said:
Alright. How long do thermal pastes usually last? And how do I see whether or not it is in a good state?

Also, what is normal CPU temperature? What should it be staying at during idle and load?


A good thermal compound such as Arctic Silver 5 will last for many years.

Get this heatsink on sale now at Newegg - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Install per procedures suggested at Arctic Silver's website.

Idling CPU temps will be 30 degs C to 40 degs C depending on ambient temps. Load temps should not exceed 70 degs C; some spikes up to 75 degs C is fine.
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July 1, 2014 6:59:37 AM

They usually last until you remove the cooler. The problems arise when you apply it incorrectly. You cant know until you replace the paste.

CPU temps should be safe under 72 C (load), ideally below 65 if possible. Idle, they are usually 35-40 C. You have idle temps like some people have load temps, so its way too high.
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July 1, 2014 7:36:28 AM

Ron Burgundy said:
A few years I'd say. It will look dry and cracked and maybe not evenly spread any more.

I've had the computer for four years, so maybe it's declared itself done with its job. The condition of the paste matches your description. It looks dry and is covering perhaps 50% of the surface.

In one way it's weird that this is the issue, since when I overclocked my GPU, I noticed that the CPU temperatures were just under 100 ºC at max, and that was several weeks ago. I have no idea how long it's been in this condition.

Anyway, the fan cooler is Intel, so I presume it's stock. Will it suffice to apply a new thermal paste, or will only a substitution of the cooler entirely be enough?
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July 2, 2014 5:38:59 AM

Yar the 212 evo is what I use and I get great temps. You dont really need fancy thermal paste, it comes with some. For 30 bucks.. why not?
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July 7, 2014 1:22:38 PM

Okaydokes. I found one for 250 NOK, which is pretty much $30, so I'll order one when I get home from Sweden. Thanks a bunch for the help, and especially the speed at which it arrived.
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